Health Concerns With Breast Implants

When cosmetic surgery is brought to the table, among the first procedures that often come to mind is breast augmentation. The reason for this is that it is among the most popular cosmetic procedure as it also remains to be the most requested. But despite all that, it is also true that there are health issues concerning breast implants. To tackle more about these issues, let’s discuss them one by one.


The latest controversy that brought breast implants into the limelight the past year was PIP scandal. Women who received this type of implants complained that of ruptures and leaks, which caused a worldwide recall of the said implants. This brought a scare to those who are affected and also got those who are planning to get one very much worried.

But in general breast implants are not really intended to last a lifetime. Just like any tangible thing, these can also succumb to eventual wear and tear. That is why experts advise that breast implants ought to be removed or changed after ten years or more.


It is true that there are listed complications when it comes to breast augmentation. Some of the documented complications include infection, sensation changes to the breast, implant displacement permanent scarring, and capsular contractures. These can be avoided or the incidence of it from occurring can be minimized through proper choice of surgeon, a thorough evaluation and the right techniques.


There have been anecdotal links between breast implants and autoimmune disorders such as scleroderma. But according to a major review that was published in 2000 after 20 studies have been conducted worldwide, there was no evidence associating implants and connective tissue diseases or autoimmune problems. This implies that a woman who is experiencing such problems will develop this problem with or without the implants.


Capsular contractures are undoubtedly one of the most uncomfortable experiences one could have with breast implants. This occurs due to the scar tissue that forms around the implants. This can cause the breast implants to harden, go out of shape, and create an outward shift of the breasts. A capsular contracture is considered to be the most common change after implantation, but it can take place either a few weeks to years after surgery. In order to correct the problem, surgery may be needed to remove the scar capsule in a process called capsulotomy.


A lot of women are expressing concern on whether if breast implants increase the risk of breast cancer. According to Dr. Sandhya Pruthi, M.D. in the Mayo Clinic website, back in 2011 the FDA found a possible link between breast implants and anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL). But further studies showed that the connection was not well-defined and isn’t really clearly supported.

For any concerns on the matter, it is best to discuss this with your doctor. Also in cases where a woman with implants develops cancer, the proper course of treatment should be discussed.


Women who received breast implants are advised to get routine breast screening for cancer, just as women who don’t have it done. This can either be done every two years. A mammogram is a procedure where two plates gently press the breast to get an image of what is inside. Women with implants should inform the radiologist that they have it because this can take more time to finish getting a clear image. Also this is to protect the implants from getting too much pressure during the procedure.


Another concern that women have with implants is whether it can affect breast milk or their ability to breastfeed. According to an American study back in 1999, there was no established risk between silicone breast implants and breastfeeding. However, the type of incision that is made during breast augmentation surgery can affect one’s ability to breastfeed. That is why patients should discuss this with their surgeon, especially if they are still in their childbearing years.

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